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How Fractional Marketing Can Help European Businesses

Businesses anywhere in the world, including Europe, can benefit from professional help to quickly boost their marketing campaigns. A temporary Chief Marketing Officer, commonly known as a Fractional CMO, can get the job done within a set timeframe. They generally work remotely on a part-time or temporary basis to get a company’s marketing efforts on track.

Since they work remotely, a European business can hire a Fractional CMO based in the United States or anywhere in the world. Hiring someone in another part of the world can help a European business with its marketing efforts overseas. Mid-sized businesses with yearly revenue of €1.75 million or more can benefit most from a Fractional CMO.

It’s important to remember that a Fractional CMO is different from an interim CMO. An interim CMO is hired on a short-term basis and generally works full-time. On the other hand, as explained here by Digital Authority Partners, a Fractional CMO works part-time on a longer-term basis, typically 1 to 2 years.

An interim CMO generally fills the role while a company hires a new, full-time CMO. A Fractional CMO, on the other hand, analyzes the current marketing strategy and sets about restructuring it.

In this article, we’ll help European business owners understand what a Fractional CMO is, and if hiring one is the right choice for your company.

What Is a Fractional CMO and What Do They Do?

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer is hired on an outsourced basis to lead a company’s marketing efforts. They primarily work as consultants on a part-time basis. By hiring a Fractional CMO, you’ll get a senior marketing executive without needing to provide the full-time salary or benefits. They work as long as they are needed, whether it’s 8 hours or 30 hours per week. Typically, they’re hired with contracts ranging from six months to two years.

These outsourced contractors fill a senior leadership role in a company’s marketing department. They’ll immediately begin to analyze the company’s budget, branding, competitors, and marketing objectives. This data will be used to create a more efficient and effective marketing plan for the company. As an outsider, a Fractional CMO can look at a company’s marketing efforts with fresh eyes.

They’ll begin the process by interviewing the marketing team, to gain an understanding of the company and the marketing plan that’s already in place. Also, they’ll take a look at what the competition is doing. They’ll use this information to produce a report indicating how the company should move forward with its marketing.

Once the analysis and report are complete, the Fractional CMO will shift focus toward leading the marketing team. This includes overseeing the marketing budget, creating short and long-term goals, and reporting to the CEO.

Which European Companies Need a Fractional CMO?

If your company does not have a full-time CMO and earns at least €1.75 million in revenue, hiring a Fractional CMO is a good option. If your company is smaller, the ROI might not support the hire, since you may not be able to implement their recommendations. Hiring a Fractional CMO is best for a well-established business that needs competent marketing leadership, and has the funds to implement a comprehensive marketing plan.

You should hire a Fractional CMO if:

  • Your company has a full-time marketing department.
  • You don’t have executive leadership.
  • Your marketing has not produced significant results.

If your marketing department needs a more defined sense of direction, and you’re not satisfied with your current marketing results, hiring a Fractional CMO is an option.

The Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO can benefit your company in many ways. As an outsider, they can give you fresh insight into what’s working and what isn’t. They’ll then come up with a plan to get your marketing efforts on track.

Affordability is also a benefit; according to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a full-time CMO is more than €150,000 per year. Adding in recruitment costs, bonuses, and benefits, the cost could be as much as €250,000 per year.

You can hire a Fractional CMO for a third of that cost, possibly even less. Moreover, what you pay your Fractional CMO is scalable. They can analyze, supervise, and direct your team to continue producing positive results long after their direct involvement has ended.

If you have a small full-time marketing team or rely on outsourced marketing services, a Fractional CMO could be the answer. They’ll oversee the day-to-day marketing efforts, making sure that everyone on the team is performing effectively. Overseeing the marketing team is important since it frees the CEO to do other work.

The most effective Fractional CMOs will train your team to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively by providing valuable insights. Thus, your marketing team will develop the skills needed to perform at their best even after the Fractional CMO leaves.

When Not to Hire a Fractional CMO

If you’re not already investing in your marketing, you should not hire a Fractional CMO. Their primary function is evaluating your current marketing team and marketing initiatives. Their function is as a consultant, not a marketing executive hired to set up a team.

You could hire one as a consultant to evaluate marketing agencies before you engage them. But, typically, a Fractional CMO is for improving your current marketing initiatives for a better ROI. You need to have some sort of marketing team already in place to implement the Fractional CMO’s recommendations.

Finding the Right Fractional CMO for Your European Business

The process begins with an interview. The right candidate will ask detailed questions about your products, your business model, and your place within your market niche. However, if they focus primarily on questions regarding your current marketing strategies and talk about the strategies they would implement, they’re probably more suited to a marketing manager position than that of CMO.

A competent Fractional CMO will only discuss marketing strategies once they gain an understanding of your business and your team. The goal is finding leadership, not new marketing strategies.

Once you hire a Fractional CMO, within 3-6 months you should have a well-defined marketing strategy in place. Moreover, you should begin to see positive results. The marketing strategy should include solid branding, an effective elevator pitch, and strong statement of why your company is the best in your market.

They’ll also take responsibility for managing your company’s advertising budget. This includes internet ads, social media, and SEO. However, they are only responsible for analyzing and reporting on the performance of these campaigns, not for implementing them. They manage the teams that do implement these initiatives and take responsibility for the outcome.

A great Fractional CMO will also put time and effort into creating new revenue streams for your company. They’ll accomplish this by analyzing your pricing, understanding potential customers, and implementing their expertise to effectively position your brand to generate more revenue.

The right Fractional CMO for your company will produce tangible results in the form of increased revenue and market share.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Fractional CMO?

This is not an easy question, since there is a range of factors to consider, but the average hourly rate for a Fractional CMO ranges from €175 to €450 an hour. However, top-tier Fractional CMOs can charge more than €1,300 per hour. Much of this depends not only on their expertise and qualifications but also on your industry.

For the first month, expect to budget 20-25 hours a week so that they can familiarize themselves with your company and its operations. After that, you should be able to cut back on that schedule. However, expect them to work 300-500 hours per year for your company. So, expect to pay between €80,000 to €135,000 per year. On average, this is less than half of what a full-time CMO would cost.

This makes a Fractional CMO affordable and scalable for a mid-sized business. They can help you put your marketing efforts on the right track, and produce tangible results in the form of profit.

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